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Archive for the ‘Commonly Asked Questions’ Category

This is a common question I get when a person is considering selling their Oakland County MI home. First let me explain that most everything is negotiable; the purpose of this post is to address what is customary for the Oakland County and Lapeer County areas.

Costs to the seller:

  • commission (I normally charge 6%, 10% on vacant land)
  • transfer tax (.75%)
  • revenue stamps ($1.10 per $1000)
  • title insurance (depends on the sale price)
  • $295 file retention fee (amount varies with different companies)
  • misc. costs such as wiring fees, recording fees and I usually estimate on the high side at $500 but is probably closer to $100 on most transaction

If you currently have a mortgage on the house that will have to be paid out of your proceeds. Taxes are usually prorated to the date of closing and if you are current on your taxes you will probably get some back. Homeowner association dues is usually prorated to the date of closing. Water and sewer bill (if applicable) are paid at closing.

If there is possession $200 or $300 is usually escrowed at closing to cover any water/sewer charges for the time you live in the house as a tenant after closing. You will normally pay the new owner’s house payment for the time you stay after closing. So you agree on 45 days possession after closing, we will typically escrow 45 days of the new owner’s mortgage and you pay for the days you stay.

These costs are for a normal sale- not short sale or land contract sale.

For more information about selling your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248) 736-6407

www.MiRelocation.com

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Do Oakland County MI Houses Sell in the Winter?

I have been asked this question quite a bit lately. The short answer is yes. Not as many as in the summer- as you can see from the graph below, there’s a big drop in January. This is due mostly to the Christmas holidays. Thanksgiving and New Years affect this, too.

oakland county mi sales

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used last year because it was a full year with mostly non distressed sales, and 2005 which was also a year with few short sales and foreclosures.

If you are thinking about selling, there is really no bad time to list. Buyers buy year ’round. Buyers in the winter tend to be more serious. It is not fun to look at houses with snow up to your butt, so you may have less showings for the same outcome- a sold house. There also tend to be less houses for sale in the winter so the competition is less.

Thinking of Selling?

Call Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore

Cell:(248)736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com 

Why List With Jackie

Preparing Your House for Sale

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Should I stay around for the showing?

Many home sellers in Oakland and Lapeer County Michigan ask this question. You should leave and I should not be there either.

For the showing you want potential buyers to be as comfortable as possible. You want them to feel free to express any concerns or dislikes to their agent. Often this is a sign of interest and a good buyer’s agent will often times have solutions. Nobody wants a buyer to pass on a house because of something curable.

You want the buyer to feel comfortable enough to sit down, feel like they’re at home. Placing furniture. Kids picking out their rooms.

You don’t want them to feel rushed or inhibited. You don’t want them to feel like they’re being “sold” anything.

Getting Your Home Ready For Sale

Home Evaluation

What to Expect on the Listing Appointment/How Much Does it Cost to Sell?

Why List With Jackie

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

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Seller Concessions Explained- Southeast Michigan Real Estate

This is my attempt at a very simplified explanation of what seller concessions are.

Example: You want to buy the house you just looked at and want to make an offer of $200,000. You need $5000 in seller concessions (seller paying all or part of your closing costs). Your offer will be $205,000 asking the seller to pay $5000 in concessions. If you offer $200K and ask for $5K in concessions, your offer is really $195,000.

The seller isn’t really paying your closing costs- you are mortgaging them.

Sellers- you really aren’t paying those closing costs. The buyer is mortgaging them.

Buyers- sellers have a bottom line. They don’t tend to come down to that bottom line AND pay concessions. The concessions are rolled into the purchase price.

Sellers– don’t question the amount of the concessions. If the buyer’s loan officer is over charging them that is their business. You only need to be concerned about your bottom line.

Compliments of Jackie Hawley, Realtor of the JHawley and Associates Real Estate Team at ReMax Encore in Clarkston MI.

Cell: (248)736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.SearchMichiganMLSListings.com

Lower Straits Lake

www.OaklandCountyMichiganLakes.com

Waterford MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Clarkston MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

White Lake/Highland MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lake Orion/Oxford/Addison MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

Lapeer MI Lakefront Homes For Sale

www.LakeOaklandHomes.com

www.MacedayLake.com

Sylvan and Otter Lake

www.LakeOrionLakeFrontRealEstate.com

For Sellers- www.JHawleyAndAssoc.com

For Sellers- www.AreaRealEstateExperts.com

www.ClarkstonMichiganRealEstate.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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Home staging your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home for sale.

At one time it was just part of a Realtor’s job to “stage” a home they were listing- at least in the North Oakland and Lapeer areas that I work in. In those days staging had a bit of a different meaning. I typically will tell a seller if they need to de-clutter, clean, paint, repair…. I have no taste, so I don’t normally suggest colors. I may suggest taking down some of your “art work” or removing bushes that are too big and too close to the house. This was called “staging.”

Now there is a whole new industry for home staging. Home Stagers have their own associations, training, certifications, etc. This is a “good thing.” Staging your Oakland County or Lapeer home MAY help you sell it faster and for more money. But since Home Staging has become its own industry, home stagers really don’t like Realtors calling what we do home staging.

It’s kind of like Kleenex which is a brand of tissue, but is used for all brands of tissue. Jacuzzi is a brand name that is used for all jetted tubs, and so on.

When it comes to the term home staging or home stager, certified home stagers think they own this term. Who had it first? Realtors used it long before home stagers were in existence. If you contact a Realtor who offers free home staging services, find out exactly what they are offering. Some may have a professional stager on their payroll. Some may just be coming in and suggesting ways to make  your home show better.

There’s nothing wrong with the second scenario; most houses in Oakland and Lapeer County will NOT benefit from professional home staging services. Some will. The first call should be to your Realtor who can help you determine if you need professional staging services or not.

www.SearchMichiganMLSListings.com

www.OaklandCountyMichiganLakes.com

www.ClarkstonMichiganRealEstate.com

www.JHawleyAndAssoc.com

www.AreaRealEstateExperts.com

www.LakeOaklandHomes.com

www.MacedayLake.com

www.LakeOrionLakeFrontRealEstate.com

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore, Clarkston

cell: 248-736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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What Does BATVI Mean? Clarkston MI Real Estate

Simply- Buyer Agent To Verify Information.

This is also known as an ass covering, or in my opinion, a waste of precious space in the limited space allotted in the MLS.

If you are buying a Clarkston MI short sale listing, beware of listings where the listing agent fills out the listing in a shoddy manner, such as wasting space in the comments, not filling out the remarks section at all, inaccurate listing information, etc. Remember, the listing agent is the person we are relying on to complete the short sale to the banks’ and seller’s approval. If he can’t fill out the listing, how successful will his short sale negotiations be?

If you are selling a Clarkston MI home, check your MLS sheet to make sure it is complete and accurate and all 25 photos included. The MLS is in place to sell your listing to the buyers’ agents. If I am going to show 5 houses to someone and 10 show up in the MLS search, I will not show the listings that are incomplete or indicate laziness on the part of the listing agent.

Often times BATVI gets replaced by CHP or EXP (price change or expired listing).

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston
Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: 248-736-6407

Marketing Your Clarkston MI Home

Choosing An Agent To Market Your Clarkston MI Home

Choosing A Buyer’s Agent

Search The MLS

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What Sets Me Apart From Other Southeast Michigan Listing Agents?

I’ve been showing houses quite a bit lately and have noticed some disturbing trends. Many of these trends are confined to foreclosure listings; or at least I thought the incomplete listings with no yard sign out front and no electricity on in the house was a foreclosure issue. Many of these foreclosure agents never even see the house, so I guess that can be their excuse. But other agents have been following suit. I guess in their minds good service is graded on a curve and as long as foreclosure agents behave like secretaries for the bank, most of the rest seem to feel the need to imitate.

I showed a house last night, after dark, and was surprised to find no electricity on in the house. I called the listing office and set the appointment with a member of the listing agent’s team. You would think she could have told me we would be looking with flash lights, and I would have thanked her and rescheduled for the weekend during the day.

I’m showing a house tomorrow to the same couple. When I pulled the aerial today I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a lakefront home. The listing never mentioned that it’s on the water. Good for us on the buyer side, but not so good for the seller.

Non foreclosure agents are starting to fill both the agent remarks and buyer remarks on the MLS sheet with showing instructions and ass covering statements such as “buyer or buyer’s agent to verify taxes, sq. footage, etc.” Or BATVI – buyer agent to verify information. DUH! The MLS is supposed to “sell” the house- to entice buyer’s agents to show the listing.

Sometimes the agent remarks are left blank and even on occasion the public remarks are blank. I showed a house with central air that was not included in the MLS. I showed a house today with lake privileges and a subdivision beach and the water name search field was left blank. 20% of the lake front listings in this North Oakland County area also leave the water name search field blank so their listings won’t come up if I am searching for houses on a specific lake.

A while back I was showing houses on acreage and over a third of the listings left the acre search field blank. I’ve shown 2 houses in the past week or so where the listing agent missed a bathroom. And it goes on and on.

I don’t know what has happened to customer service. If a listing agent can’t/won’t fill out a listing completely, how are they going to handle the rest of the transaction? If the incomplete listing is a short sale will the listing agent be able to, or willing to, send everything the lien holders ask for in a timely fashion? I highly doubt it if they can’t even fill in a lake name or check the central air box.

As real estate agents we are dealing with hundreds of thousands of other people’s dollars and we should take that commitment seriously.

One thing I can promise is if you list your Southeast Michigan home with me, your listing will be completely and accurately filled out. You will have the maximum number of photos allowed and a virtual tour (unless your house is a pig sty- no need of scaring off buyers!). You will have a sign in your yard unless otherwise requested and if you don’t have the electricity turned on in the house you can find another agent. I list homes to sell and I sell them at the highest price possible. I will communicate with you throughout- from the time you sign the listing agreement until the sale closes.

I take my job seriously. We like to call ourselves professionals and should behave in a professional manner. Our listings are our face to the public and those listings should represent the home better than those on for sale by owner web sites.

Why You Should Choose Jackie Hawley To Sell You Home

Marketing Your Southeast Michigan Home

Preparing Your Southeast Michigan Home For Sale

Home Evaluation (CMA)

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
ReMax Encore
Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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